It's been a long time since Robert Plant has truly rock 'n' rolled, but that doesn't mean he's totally abandoned his Led Zep daze.
On a new concert tour with his Band of Joy (a sorta supergroup that features guitarist Buddy Miller and vocalist Patty Griffin), the 61-year-old Brit indulges his longtime love affair with Americana and blues, his raspy voice better suited for low, smoldering moans than the high, holy shrieks of his youth.
But recent reviews of Plant's current trek also show plenty of Zep tunes on the set list (Thank You, Tangerine, Misty Mountain Hop), and that makes sense. For all their tight-panted lasciviousness and Tolkien-inspired mumbo-jumbo, the London quartet was first and foremost a blues revue. And if they did indeed sell their souls to the devil as the legend claims, it was probably not for a taste of fame or riches, but only because they wanted to get closer to Robert Johnson and his Clarksdale, Miss., crossroads.
Plant and the Band of Joy perform at 8 p.m. Friday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $49.50-$99.50. (727) 791-7400.
Sean Daly, Times pop music critic